Houston is my home. And right now my home is underwater, falling apart but showing enormous signs of strength. I am currently at school about an hour north of Houston, so I have experienced some rain but not nearly the amount that some Houstonians including some of my very own friends and family have experienced. Unfortunately from what I have personally heard, a good number of people who did not have the chance to evacuate have either lost their cars, had their homes flooded or both. Since the waters rose so fast, some people had to resort to climbing on their roofs just to be rescued. My personal homes are safe, so far, but some of the people very near to me have anywhere from and inch to 5 feet of water in their homes.
Unfortunately, this flooding doesn’t seem to be over yet. This storm is relentless and doesn’t seem like it will stop pounding Houston anytime soon. Additionally, for people who aren’t living this or have not been compelled by their empathy to look into this, think before you judge. Houston, a city with over 4 million people if you count all the metropolitan areas, could not have been evacuated. As sad as it is to say, so many more lives would have been lost from drowning in traffic than just riding out the flooding in their homes. The thought of this damage makes me absolutely sick.
We are Houston Strong.
Below I have created a list of ways you can help. Also, please comment any that I have left out as I will update it as I get more!
IF YOU WANT TO HELP:
George R. Brown Convention Center: One of the largest pop-up shelters in Houston is in need of snack, dry clothes, medical professionals, wheelchairs
Samaritan’s Purse: Volunteers needed to actively help in clean up over the next few months, this group actually came to my house after Hurricane Ike to help and are truly a phenomenal organization.
Donations To Your Local Food Banks: If you still don’t feel comfortable driving, monetary donations are just as useful
Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group: Consistently posting about volunteers needed for a little further down the coast
South Texas Blood: In desperate need of blood donations, click link to see where you can donate within the day.
The Animal Defense League of Texas: Not only does this group need food donations, but also foster homes for the high number of displaced animals.
The American Red Cross: providing direct emergency assistance. Donations are open online, through phone at 1-800-RED-CROSS or by texting “HARVEY” to 90999
Greater Houston Community Foundation- Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund: established by Mayor Turner this is a tax deductible donation opportunity
GlobalGiving -Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund: Helping first responders with initial relief work
Center For Disaster Philantrophy- Hurricane Hurvey Relief Fund: Focused on long term recovery efforts
Salvation Army- Huricane Harvey Relief Fund: Donations are open online or you can call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or text “STORM” to 51555
North American Mission Board: Helping to restore homes
Samaritan’s Purse: Sends out volunteers to actively help
The Way Home Houston: Donations will go toward Houston’s Homeless population affected by Hurricane Harvey
Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies: assisting the elderly and disabled throughout and after Hurricane Harvey
Texas Diaper Bank: Helping to provide babies with diapers
SPCA of Texas: organizing evacuations of pets
Austin Pets Alive: Has taken in almost 300 animals to it’s shelter
J.J Watt’s Flood Relief Fund: Houston Texan’s player JJ Watt has set up a donation page through YOUCARING that has already almost raised $800,000, but still hoping to reach the $1 million goal.
Texas Humor: buy a shirt (or anything) until tonight at midnight and 100% will go to relief efforts